Report: University Affairs Board - March 03, 2022

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Via Virtual Meeting room

REPORT NUMBER 227 OF THE UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS BOARD

March 3, 2022

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Board reports that it met on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. via virtual meeting with the following members present:

Present:
Geeta Yadav (Vice-Chair), Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students), David Newman (Executive Director, Student Experience), Neil Chakraborty, Dylan Archer Dingwell, Vanshika Dhawan, Susan Froom, Evan Kanter, K. Sonu Gaind, Robert Gerlai, Syeda Hasan, Joan Johnston, Evan Kanter, Gretchen Kerr, Kikelomo Lawal, John Monahan, Mozynah Nofal, Ann Perry, Tayyab Rashid, Sherice Robertson, Veronica Wadey

Non-Voting Assessors:
Kelly Hannah-Moffat (Vice-President, People Services, Equity and Culture), Ann Macdonald (Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services), Mark Overton (Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Principal, Student Services, UTM), Sheila John (Acting Dean of Student Experience and Wellbeing, UTSC), Melinda Scott (Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & Student Policy Advisor)

Secretary:
Timothy Harlick (Secretary), Emma Thacker

Regrets:
Vikram Chadalawada (Chair), Christine Burke, Natalie Enriquez-Birch, Ron Levi, Karen Ng, Avigail Rucker, Ron Saporta

Guests in Attendance:
Beth Ali (Executive Director, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, KPE), Andrew Arifuzzaman (UTSC, CAO), Ian Cole (Manager, Budget & Operations), Gloria Z. Cuneo (Director, University Family Housing), Brian Cunha (Director Student Housing & Residence Life, UTM), Christine Esteban (Executive Director, Financial Services & Budget, UTM), Josh Haas, Gregory Hum (Director, Student Housing and Residence Life, UTSC), Sherry Kulman (Sr. Director, Business & Ancillary Operations, Hart House), Antonia Lo (Director Ancillaries & Student Services, UTM), Josh Mitchell (Managing Director, Real Estate), Tanya Poppleton (Director, Campus Safety, UTSC), Nadia Rosemond (Assistant Dean, Co-Curricular Engagement & Student Leadership), Fran Wdowczyk (Director, Business Development & Special Advisor, UTSC), Stan Xiao (Director of Finance, Hart House)


  1. Chair’s Opening Remarks

    Dr. Geeta Yadav, Vice-Chair of the University Affairs Board, welcomed members and guests. It was noted for members that the UAB Chair, Mr. Vikram Chadalawada had an unavoidable conflict, and as such she would Chair the meeting.
  2. Reports of the Senior Assessor

    The Chair invited Vice-Provost-Students, Sandy Welsh to share her report. Professor Welsh offered updates on the following matters:

    Ukraine

    Professor Welsh began her remarks by acknowledging the on-going situation in Ukraine. Thoughts were with the Ukrainian people, the many University of Toronto students, faculty, librarians, staff, alumni and friends who had personal connections to Ukraine and the wider region, and with all members of our community who had been impacted by these events. She urged any members of the University community who needed support, to reach out to the services available at the University.

    COVID-19

    Over the past several weeks many divisions across the University had transitioned back to significant in-person teaching and learning. Throughout this transition, health and safety continued to be a priority. This included:
  • Maintaining the vaccine mandate for students, staff, faculty and librarians until at least the end of the Winter 2022 term;
  • Maintaining the mask mandate and making free medical masks available at locations across the three campuses for anyone who needs one;
  • Continued use of UCheck and requested that everyone complete the UCheck questionnaire before coming to campus;
  • Continued wastewater testing within the residences; and
  • Continued commitment to enhanced ventilation of spaces where possible.

    With more students on campus, non-academic spaces were in increased demand as students needed spaces to eat, study, and socialize between classes. Some classroom spaces were available for students to use to attend virtual classes while on campus. Options related to spaces for student groups and events were also under consideration. with further details were expected shortly.

    Free Menstrual Products Pilot

    Professor Welsh shared that the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students, in collaboration with Facilities & Services, had launched a pilot to make free menstrual products available for U of T community members on the St George Campus. Similar projects were already underway at the UTM and UTSC campuses. The St. George pilot built upon the work that had been underway by staff and student leaders locally to make these products available and moving towards embedding this in operational services at the institution. Starting that month, 75 washrooms across the St. George campus would offer free menstrual products to U of T community members. Facilities & Services had installed coinless machines and record usage over the six-month period (February to July 2022). Professor Welsh thanked the student leaders who raised this issue and who worked to help launch the project. She also thanked Facilities & Services. Promoting equitable access to menstrual products was an important step toward making our campuses more inclusive and welcoming for all community members.

    Questions Regarding Recent UTSU Motion

    Professor Welsh concluded her remarks by addressing questions received in advance of the meeting in relation to a motion passed at a UTSU Special General Meeting on February 16th as well as a complaint that was submitted to the Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies related to the UTGSU Boycott, Divest and Sanction Caucus.

    Regarding the UTGSU CRCSS complaint, Professor Welsh advised that the Provost was engaged in a final review of this matter and it was anticipated that the Provost would be in a position to issue her decision imminently. It was anticipated that the decision could be posted publicly once adequate time had passed to ensure that the UTGSU and Complainant have had an opportunity to fully review the decision.

    Regarding the UTSU motion, UTSU is an autonomous student organization, and their statements must not be taken to express the view of the University. While all student societies were required by the University’s policies to operate in an open, accessible, and democratic manner, including a commitment to equity and to allowing a diversity of perspectives to be heard, the University did not approve or endorse activities or groups sponsored by these organizations. The UTSU had released a statement regarding the process through which the motion was presented, and next steps. She had met with UTSU to discuss the concerns raised regarding this motion. If UTSU members had concerns about the motion, they could raise them with the UTSU directly.

    The University of Toronto was opposed to all forms of discrimination and committed to the protection of freedom of speech and remained committed to providing an academic setting in which all students, faculty, and staff are able to participate fully without fear or harassment. The University would work with stakeholders to advance inclusive environments for members of the Jewish community and to effectively address anti-Semitism on all three campuses. To this end - the University had accepted all recommendations put forward by the Anti-Semitism Working Group report in December 2021 and continued to engage in its implementation. One of the questions addressed in the report of the Anti-Semitism Working Group was whether the University should adopt any particular definition of Anti-Semitism.

    In light of the advice provided by the Working Group, mindful of the diversity of views expressed in its consultations by members of the Jewish community at U of T, and in keeping with the University’s longstanding policies, contained in the Statement on Freedom of Speech and the Statement of Institutional Purpose, the University had accepted the Working Group’s recommendation and was not adopting any of the definitions of anti-Semitism that had recently been proposed. However, the University continued to address subtle and blatant forms of anti-Semitism as experienced by members of the Jewish community, in accordance with our obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and all relevant legislation, as well as our policies related to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), just as we address other forms of racism and religious discrimination.

    The Chair thanked Professor Welsh for her Report.

    A member asked about the non-adoption of the institutional definition of anti-Semitism, commenting that it was challenging to combat anti-Semitism without a definition. Professor Welsh responded that the discussion of the adoption of a definition was beyond the scope of her portfolio, and so she would take the question back to the administration.

    A member thanked Professor Welsh and acknowledged all efforts made to launch the pilot project to provide free menstrual products on St. George campus.

    A member asked if the Administration was planning to denounce the recent University of Toronto Students' Union (UTSU) motion regarding the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Professor Welsh responded to say that the Administration had been in contact with the UTSU, and at this time she could not speak further to the issue.
  1. Annual Report: Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees 2021-22

    The Chair invited Professor Welsh to introduce the item. Dr. Melinda Scott (Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students), presented an overview of the Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees Report, with the following highlights:
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, campus services and student societies were invited to review their programming and services and consider temporary reductions to their fees. She noted that those temporary fee reductions were previously reported to governance and were reflected in the annual report.
  • Members were referred to the documentation, which included the original fees as well as the fees reduced in response to COVID-19, which were primarily for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • The fees were categorized into three areas: Campus Service Fees, Cross-Divisional Student Societies, and Divisional Fees.
  • Dr. Scott provided examples of these incidental fees for full-time and part-time undergraduate, and graduate students for 2021-22 and reviewed a comparison chart of these fees among divisions at the University.

    Members had no questions.
  1. Operating Plans: Service Ancillaries

    The Chair introduced the item, explaining that the UTM and UTSC plans were provided to the Board for information in order to provide context for members during the consideration of the St. George Service Ancillaries’ Operating Plans and to provide members with relevant information in relation to the Board’s responsibility and interest in University-wide campus issues.

    Professor Welsh explained that a number of bodies or groups reviewed the operating plans. These groups include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. At the University of Toronto Mississauga, these bodies include the Student Housing Advisory Committee, the Food Service Advisory Committee, the Resident Student Dining Committee, and the Transportation & Parking Advisory Committee. The UTSC operating plans were developed via a similar consultative process. The Student Housing Advisory Committee, Food User Committee and the Parking Advisory Review Committee provide advice and input.

    1. University of Toronto Mississauga

      The Service Ancillaries Operating Plan from the University of Toronto Mississauga was received for information.

    2. University of Toronto Scarborough

      The Service Ancillaries Operating Plan from the University of Toronto Scarborough was received for information.

    3. St. George Campus

Professor Welsh noted that consultation on each of the ancillary’s plans occurred first at the local level at which students were involved. Draft plans had been reviewed by the Financial Services Department, whose report had been considered by the Service Ancillaries Review Group (SARG), which included several members from this Board. Professor Welsh thanked those who served on SARG.

A member commented that she had expressed her concerns regarding various recurring issues with respect to student family housing and would like to note that there was still a great deal of work to do. An example related to the transparency of timelines and deadlines for maintenance was provided. Professor Welsh thanked the member for her comment and contributions and offered to connect with the member directly to discuss. It was added that the issues raised related more to the Charles Street Student Family Housing and were not part of the St. George SARG Report.

On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

IT WAS RESOLVED,

THAT the proposed 2022-23 operating plans and budgets for St. George service ancillaries, as summarized in Schedule I; the St. George service ancillary capital budgets as summarized in Schedule V, St. George service ancillary rates and fees in Schedule VI, and the St. George business ancillary rates and fees in Schedule VII be approved, effective May 1, 2022.

  1. Operating Plans and Fees - Student Affairs and Services, University of Toronto Mississauga

    The Chair introduced the item, explaining that the Board had a specific role in respect of the consideration of Operating Plans and Fees for the St. George and University-wide student services and service ancillaries. With respect to the UTM and UTSC, consideration and discussion of those proposals occurred within their respective Campus Affairs Committee and Campus Council meetings, and they were provided for information. Dr. Scott, Director of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & Student Policy Advisor, offered a presentation that provided a brief overview of the process to determine the plans and fees.

    1. Advice from the Quality Service to Students Committee (QSS)

      The advice from QSS was received for information.

    2. Plans and Fees

      The Student Services Plans from the University of Toronto Mississauga was received for information.

      A member asked how temporary and permanent fee increases are calculated year over year and Dr. Scott explained that permanent increases to fees were calculated based on the total fee for a given year and that temporary increases were applied and removed or re-applied in accordance with the approved process to determine the plans and fees.
  2. Operating Plans and Fees - Student Experience and Wellness, University of Toronto Scarborough

    1. Advice from the Council on Student Services (CSS)

      The advice from CSS was received for information.

    2. Plans and Fees

      The Student Services Plans from the University of Toronto Scarborough was received for information.

      Members had no questions.
  3. Operating Plans and Fees - St. George Campus and University Wide Services

    The Chair invited Professor Welsh to introduce the item and speak to item 7(a).

    1. Advice from the Council on Student Services (COSS)

      ​​​​Professor Welsh advised that the Protocol on Non-Tuition Fees provided that the Operating Plans and Fees for University-wide and St. George Campus services was first considered by COSS, whose advice would be conveyed to the University Affairs Board. Proposals for Student Life Programs and Services, the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education: Co-Curricular Programs, Services, and Facilities, and Hart House were considered by COSS.

      Professor Welsh highlighted that for the Student Life Health & Counselling fee, Hart House and KPE St. George and University-wide fees, the majority of student members of COSS endorsed the plans. Therefore, the respective services are proposing permanent fee increases. For the Student Life, St. George Student Services fees, the majority of student members of COSS did not endorse the plan. Therefore, the service is proposing both a temporary and permanent fee increase. Professor Welsh thanked the Chair of COSS, Ms Alexa Ballis for her work in this role.

    2. Operating Plans and Fees: Student Life, St. George Campus

      Mr. David Newman offered a presentation on student life, programs and services. He noted the four areas within the Division of Student Life portfolio: Student Experience, Programs and Services, Health and Wellness and Global Learning and International Student Experience. Highlights of the presentation included:
  • Engagement Examples: 439 Community-Engaged Learning placements; 611 students participated in academic resilience initiatives; 48,551 visits to Health & Wellness; 34,482 students booked and attended events and workshops offered by Student Life on CLNx; 8,276 registered students for international student experience /immigration events;
  • 2021-2026: Strategic Goals:
    • Whole student growth and development;
    • Student support, well-being and access;
    • Active inclusion and belonging; and
    • Collaborative relationships and partnerships; and Staff commitments and engagement.
  • Overall Budget Highlights:
    • Overall budget (student fee and non-student fee) increased 9.95% ;
    • Student fee budget increased by 3.98%;
    • Revenues from student fees dropped from 62% to 59%;
    • Although inflation is persistently higher, we have continued to use UofT’s long range target rate of 2% CPI for fee calculations ;
    • Increased funding for Work Study from $325K to $400K; and
    • New funding for addressing supporting students affected by systemic barriers

A member asked for clarification surrounding temporary and permanent increases. Professor Welsh and Mr. Newman initially responded to the query, with the Chair suggesting that the conversation be taken offline, given its complexity.

A member asked if the fee increases considered the future, and looked ahead ten years. Mr. Newman responded that it was always the goal to increase fees as little as possible, and while there was always intention to consider future needs, it was difficult to project ten years ahead.

A member asked about the involvement of students and student unions in decision making, noting that the SCSU was included on the Hart House Board of Stewards. Mr. Newman clarified that the Student Life Advisory Committee Term of Reference mirrored Hart House and KPE, and that the first meeting had occurred, with another in the coming month.

A member asked why the fee increase was not approved by COSS. Mr. Newman responded that the vote was mixed, and although feedback was requested, he was not aware of the reason.

A member asked for clarity on the 12.2% temporary increase was calculated. Mr. Newman spoke to the increase, with Professor Welsh adding that the Office of the Vice-Provost-Students reviewed the calculations prior to it being brought forward to governance.

On motion duly made, seconded and carried

IT WAS RESOLVED,

THAT the 2022-23 operating plans and budget for Student Life Programs and Services, as presented in the documentation from David Newman, Executive Director, Student Experience, be approved;

THAT the Health & Counselling sessional fee for a full-time student on the St. George campus be increased to $87.36 ($17.47 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $3.44 ($0.69 for a part-time student) or 4.10%; and

THAT the Student Services sessional fee for a full-time student on the St. George campus be increased to $104.69 ($20.94 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $3.90 ($0.78 for a part-time student) or 3.87% (resulting from the elimination of a 2018-19 three-year temporary increase, a permanent increase of 2.0%, and a temporary increase of 12.2%).

  1. Operating Plans and Fees: Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE): Co-Curricular Programs, Services and Facilities

    Professor Gretchen Kerr (Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education) introduced the item. Ms Beth Ali (Executive Director of Co-Curricular Athletics & Physical Activity Programs), offered a presentation which highlighted the many KPE offerings and programs, and reported the following considerations for the KPE 2022-23 budget:
  • KPE Sport and Rec is presenting a balanced budget or 2022-23.
  • The calculations include 2% CPI (consumers price index), 3.5% increase in full time compensation and a 1% increase in part time compensation.
  • There was an overall increase of 4% in budget expenses. Increased occupancy costs, an increase in the student ancillary fee transfer back to UTM and UTSC and an increase in facility renewal have contributed to the increase in expenses.
  • The amount of non-student revenue in the 2022-23 budget is $9,675,492, was $255,972 more than 2021-22 budget.
  • Restricted Funds (non-operational budget) contribute an additional $670,000 directly to student accounts in the form of athletic scholarships. These funds were generated through alumni donations and fundraising and could only be used for athletic scholarships.
  • Proposed 2022-23 student ancillary fee increase was 2.06%.

    Members had no questions regarding the operating plans and fees.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried

    IT WAS RESOLVED,

    THAT the 2022-23 operating plans and budget for the U of T Sport and Rec Programs, Services and Facilities at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, as presented in the documentation from Beth Ali, Executive Director, Athletics and Co-curricular Physical Activity, be approved;

    THAT the sessional fee for a full-time student on the St. George campus be increased to $200.77 ($40.15 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $4.06 ($0.81 for a part-time student) or 2.06%; and

    THAT the sessional fee for a full-time student at UTM or UTSC be increased to $23.29 ($4.66 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $0.47 ($0.09 for a part-time student) or 2.06%.
  1. Operating Plans and Fees: Hart House

    Mr. Monahan, the Warden of Hart House, offered a presentation which outlined Hart Houses’ new five-year Strategic Plan (2021-2026), which included the theme of “Preparing the Table.” The Plan included the following five commitments:
  • Foster a Climate of Inclusivity and Belonging in Our Spaces and Programs;
  • Encourage Students to Explore Who They are and Who They Aspire to be Through the Arts, Dialogue and Wellness;
  • Offer Students Rich Experiential Learning Opportunities;
  • Deepen Student Engagement with Local and Global Communities and Issues; and
  • Steward Resources and Relationships Carefully and Creatively to Meet the Challenges of Today and the Opportunities of Tomorrow.

    Mr. Monahan also provided an overview of the Hart House budget and fee increases with the following highlights:
  • Hart House continued to prioritize students;
  • The 2022/23 operating budget for Hart House reflected reasonable assumptions around the continued recovery of business activities from the effects COVID-19;
  • Hart House was requesting a student fee increase of 4.90%; and
  • Careful management of Reserves to support critical Infrastructure Renewal.

    Members had no questions.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried

    IT WAS RESOLVED,

    THAT the 2022-23 operating plans and budget for Hart House, as presented in the documentation from John Monahan, Warden, be approved;

    THAT the sessional fee for a full-time student on the St. George campus be increased to $112.76 ($22.55 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $5.27 ($1.05 for a part time student) or 4.9%; and =

    THAT the sessional fee for a full-time student at UTM or UTSC be increased to $3.46 ($0.70 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $0.16 ($0.03 for a part time student) or 4.9%.
  1. Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Harbord Residence

    The Chair invited Ms Anne McDonald (Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services) to present the item. Ms McDonald reported that the Harbord Residence was ‘4Corners Project’, and offered the following highlights:
  • Residence was located within the Huron-Sussex Neighborhood, and would be directly east of Graduate House and north of the Warren Stevens Athletic Complex;
  • Residence: 5,106.34 nasm, 9,415.77gsm, 9 Storeys + Basement, and a Retail Ancillary;
  • Harbord Residence was planned as an extension to Graduate House, and vice versa, with the ambition of addressing a key project objective: to create a single student community with shared amenities;
  • Harbord Residence would provide a mix of unit types such as residence advisor suites, dormitory-style single rooms, and all-inclusive residence ‘Nomad’ suites which including a private kitchenette and washroom;
  • The residence was proposed to be nine stories composed of a three-storey podium with a six storey mid-rise residential element above; and
  • The project was scheduled to start construction in April of 2022 with a preliminary, conditionally permitted, demolition phase. The Harbord Residence was targeting occupancy in April / May 2024 with project close-out in July 2024.

    A member asked if the project would address current waiting lists for graduate student housing. Ms McDonald responded that although the residence would not solve all graduate accommodation needs, it was a strong move in the right direction.

    A member asked if the building plans had considered ventilation, given the pandemic. Ms McDonald responded that there was a self-contained HVAC for the unit, and that ventilation had been a significant part of the discussion and planning process.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED,

    THAT the University Affairs Board concur with the prospective recommendation of the Academic Board,

    THAT the project scope of the Harbord Residence, as identified in the Report of the Project Planning Committee for Harbord Residence, A New Graduate Residence on Harbord Street, dated January 14, 2022, be approved in principle; and,

    THAT the project totaling 9,415.77 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded by financing. 
  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 226, November 23, 2021

    The report of the previous meeting was approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  3. Date of Next Meeting: April 20, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

    The Chair confirmed the date of the next meeting was April 20, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.
  4. Other Business

    Members had no questions.

IN CAMERA SESSION

  1. Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Harbord Residence

    Ms. Ann McDonald presented the total project cost and sources of funding.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED,

    THAT the University Affairs Board concur with the prospective recommendation of the Academic Board, 

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, regarding the Total Project Cost for Harbord Residence, A New Graduate Residence on Harbord Street as outlined in the memorandum dated February 14, 2022, be approved in principle.   

    The Board returned to Open Session.

The meeting adjourned at 6:59 p.m.


March 10, 2022